There’s no doubt about it – we live in a high-stress world. There are always things to do, work to be done, activities to plan, bills to pay … and the list goes on! With all these stress factors in play it’s hardly a surprise that more and more patients are suffering from bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching.
Bruxism can be a conscious activity due to habit, but for many more patients it’s a completely unconscious, involuntary behavior. A lot of the patients we see at Edgewood Dental Care show signs of bruxing even when they don’t recall doing it at all!
Many patients brux in their sleep, making the condition all the more dangerous. Your teeth aren’t meant to stand up to such stress, and neither is your jaw or facial muscles! Left untreated bruxism can cause a number of painful conditions requiring extensive treatment so it’s important we see you as soon as you think you may be affected!
Bruxism Can Cause Premature Tooth Wear
It’s not uncommon for older patients to present with worn teeth, especially if they eat a lot of harder foods. What isn’t good, however, is when the same thing shows up in younger patients! Because your teeth aren’t meant to deal with the constant stress and force of grinding and clenching you can quickly end up with ground, worn teeth that are very sensitive!
Not only will lost enamel lead to sensitivity and pain, it can also increase your chances for tooth decay. Plaque acids are always at work in your mouth, and without enamel to protect your teeth they can quickly eat away at the dentin and into the root of a tooth.
Muscle Strain Can Damage Your Jaw Joint
Known as the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, your jaw joint is one of the most common places to suffer the effects of bruxism. Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, is a dysfunction in that joint characterized by headaches, muscle pain, lockjaw, clicking and popping when opening your mouth, and arthritis of the TMJ.
Just because you notice pain in your TMJ it doesn’t mean you have TMD – yet. Continued bruxism is almost a guarantee that you’ll end up with this painful condition!
Tooth Loss Risks Increase
Your teeth are meant to have a certain amount of give to them but not as much as the forces bruxism put them under! Over time bruxism can lead to a change in your bite, which is just the first sign of loosening and weakening teeth!
As you continue bruxing your teeth will become looser and looser, eventually being at serious risk for falling out! While this process can be reversed it requires quick intervention to help stabilize your teeth and stop the pressures of bruxism.
Headaches And Constant Pain
Patients suffering from bruxism may not realize they’re doing it in their sleep but they definitely feel the pain when they wake up. Whether it’s from the abnormal jaw position or the constant muscle tension you will wake up in pain more and more frequently.
Treating Bruxism At Edgewood Dental Care
It’s often the case that patients come to us complaining of jaw pain and or exam turns up worn teeth or other symptoms of TMD or bruxism. The easiest way to treat bruxism and TMD is with a nighttime mouthguard. Made of a soft rubber material, these nightguards fit comfortably over your teeth and ease the forces of bruxism. You’ll wake up feeling rested and pain-free!
In some cases of bruxism and TMD physical therapy is required to treat underlying muscles conditions. We work closely with an Edgewood physical therapist to get our patients the exact care they need – we’ll make sure you’re in good hands!
Don’t Simply pop an ibuprofen in the morning if you’re suffering from regular headaches. The longer you wait to find out the cause the more damage you’re doing to your teeth! We want to help you get relief, protect your smile, and save money with immediate treatment for bruxism and TMD.
If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms or conditions we discussed don’t wait – call us right away at 859-474-7830! You can also request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!